Ilkay Gundogan has revealed the anger and frustration he felt on the final day of last season that drove him forward to win the match. At 2-0 down, the German midfielder dragged City back into the match, before scoring the winner minutes after Rodri had equalised.
But the celebrating faithful had no idea what was going on in the German’s head prior to coming on as a second-half substitute, but all has been revealed at the premiere of the documentary following City’s incredible title-winning season.
“Then the moment I found out I wasn’t starting I was a bit frustrated, a bit angry, but I still tried to be focused and support the guys that were starting, and maybe even put that anger a little bit into the game.”
Gundo entered the match with City 1-0 down, before Countinho made it 2-0 just moments after the German entered the fray. “Things didn’t start so well when I got subbed on. I was 10 seconds in the game, and we conceded the second goal. Then, to be honest, the hope was not that huge anymore, but as a professional football player, you always try to do your best, starting with the simple things.”
The midfielder, known affectionately as Mr Whippy amongst the faithful, got himself on the end of Raheem Sterling’s 75th-minute cross to nod the ball home and trigger the most amazing comeback.
Within two minutes Rodri had levelled and just three minutes later, Gundo found himself in the right place at the right time to get on the end of Kevin de Bruyne’s inch-perfect pass to put the blues 3-2 up and keep the title in Manchester and out of Liverpool’s hands.
Best Premier League Finale Ever?
In 2012, Manchester City looked on the brink of losing the title to United. 2-1 down going into injury time, Edin Dzeko equalised, before Sergio Aguero scored the most remarkable last-minute winner to bring the title to the blues side of Manchester for the first time since 1968. It went down as the greatest Premier League moment of all time which would never be beaten.
Or was it?
City’s incredible comeback win against Villa must rank at least equal to their achievements in 2012. 2-0 down with just 15 minutes to go, winning the title from that position looked a step too far. Yet, City were never off the top of the league all day. Liverpool were failing to break Wolves down and, even at 2-0, City would still be crowned champions.
But that winning spirit never left them and Gundo’s perfect timing to get his head onto Sterling’s cross invoked the spirit of 93:20. From the moment that goal went in, there was only ever going to be one winner.
And by the time Liverpool had taken the lead against Wolves, the blues were ahead. Just six minutes of madness in the Villa box was enough for the blues to retain the league title in such dramatic circumstances.
When compared to 2012, City’s win against Villa was even more remarkable. They weren’t playing against a team that had a man sent off and had just discovered they were safe from relegation. Against Villa, they were up against a manager who, as a player, had famously slipped to gift Chelsea a goal and allow City into the title race, which they eventually won. Steven Gerrard was determined to help his old club, which made City’s win even sweeter. Villa had so much to prove on that final day, particularly with their efforts to stop Jack Grealish from getting his hands on a first Premier League winners’ medal. So, it’s a big testament to the blues that they were able to produce the six minutes of magic that was needed at just the right time.
Should we expect a repeat of this in 2032?
What do you think? Was City’s title win against Villa better than their 2012 win?